Marshall Faulk Indianapolis Colts & St. Louis Rams
"I guess you could call me a football junky…I love it. I am a student of the game. I try to see what is new, what a team is trying to do to stop an offense. I pick up new things. I never get tired of it. I'd play for nothing; I did for years."
The Indianapolis Colts picked San Diego State running back Marshall Faulk as the second player overall in the 1994 NFL Draft. He was an instant star as he rushed for 143 yards and scored three touchdowns in his rookie debut against the Houston Oilers. He then eclipsed the 100-yard mark again the following week against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Those were two of four 100-yard rushing days to go with one 100-plus yard receiving game in his rookie season. He finished his first season with 1,282 rushing yards and an AFC-leading 11 TDs. He also caught 52 passes for 522 yards and one touchdown. He was named Rookie of the Year for his performance.
Faulk rushed for 1,000 yards in four of his first five seasons while also amassing 2,804 yards on 297 receptions. He was then traded by the Colts to the St. Louis Rams in 1999 in exchange for a second- and fifth-round draft pick. He helped guide his new team to a Super Bowl title in his first season in St. Louis. That year he became the second player in NFL history to eclipse the 1,000-yard mark in both rushing and receiving and set the then-record for yards from scrimmage with 2,429 yards. He was named the NFL's Offensive Player of the Year for the first of three straight seasons.
The following year, Faulk earned NFL Most Valuable Player honors after he set the single-season record for touchdowns with 26 that included a career-high and league-leading 18 rushing touchdowns. It marked the first of two straight seasons in which he led the NFL in scoring and touchdowns.
In all, Faulk earned first-team All-Pro acclaim in 1999, 2000, and 2001 and was a second-team All-Pro selection in 1994, 1995, and 1998. He was voted to seven Pro Bowls, named All-AFC twice and All-NFC three times in his career.
Faulk, the first player in NFL history to gain 2,000 yards from scrimmage in four straight seasons (1998-2001), retired as the NFL's ninth-ranked rusher of all-time with 12,279 yards and 100 touchdowns. He also added 767 career receptions, which ranked 16th all-time, for 6,875 yards and 36 touchdowns. His 19,154 yards from scrimmage was sixth all-time. Faulk rushed for 100 or more yards in 38 games and had three games in which he went over the 200-yard mark. He also recorded eight 100-yard receiving games in his 12-year, 176-game career.